1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Need some camera info on Astrophotography, please??

Discussion in 'Help Team' started by Glen White, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. Glen White

    Glen White New Member

    Hay there, I had only come across this web site late last night an had only just got certified later today. But anyway lets get to the point.
    I currently have a Nikon P900 and have loved every minute of it snapping away at pic's, but I would like to try some Astrophotography, but the camera i have at the mo its not really working out for me.
    So was just wondering if anyone could recommend some decent cameras that are not gonna cost me to much an what sort of lens would be the best as well

    So I hope you guys could help me out, thanks
     
  2. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    Well, you'll have to help us help you. Astrophotography is a very broad church. Do you want widefield star images, deep space images, planetary? Astrophotography can be very addictive, and very expensive, depending on your aims.
     
  3. Glen White

    Glen White New Member

    Hi Craig,
    basically I would like to do all of the above that you said, an I know its gonna cost a lot. but if you could point out a few cameras to start off with that maybe cost 100-150 pounds where I could get close to these sort of results would be great. an all so the price of the lens can work out more than just the camera can
    thanks mate
     
  4. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    Is the budget for a lens as well? If so, you're really up against it. I was thinking maybe a used D3200 coupled with a used 35mm f1.8 (Aperture is king). This would get you started with some widefield star shots/milky way etc. Ideally you would want a wider lens than this but I'm trying to keep costs down. Oh and a tripod too.
    Deep space imaging is a completely different ball game and can run into many thousands of pounds.
     
    Glen White likes this.
  5. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    It might be worth getting some advice on the Pentax range as I believe they build in some specialist features. Not my area though I am afraid.
     
    Glen White likes this.
  6. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    For night sky photography most cameras will do but you need a location that is not light polluted, a wide angle lens and a solid tripod. Software can be used to build a composite from several exposures. I forget what it is called "sky stacker" or smething like that. For specific areas of the sky you need a telescope on a tracking mount and a means of attaching a camera. For deep sky photography you need some serious equipment. There were some wonderful pictures posted here some months ago.
     
    Glen White likes this.
  7. Glen White

    Glen White New Member

    No the budget is not really for the lens, it was more for the camera, so if I wanted to go one above the 35mm lens what would be the next best one? also would I need any filters for this?
    tripod I am all good with, only just brought a manfrotto compact action tripod.
     
  8. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    What do you mean " one above 35 mm lens"? If you can manually focus your camera and set a bulb exposure then you are good to go. The software is http://deepskystacker.free.fr/english/index.html. You need to combine several exposures because of the earth rotation will otherwise just give streaks.
     
  9. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    Once you start stacking you are then getting into the realms of Darks, Flats, Bias frames etc.
     
  10. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    Light gathering is the single most important thing with astro work. The three ways of putting more light onto your sensor are, shutter speed, ISO, and Aperture.
    You are limited with shutter speeds as the rotation of the earth will start to streak the stars (known as trailing)after around 15-30 seconds, depending on focal length used. Upping the ISO will get you a few stops more light, limited by noise to around 3,200, depending on the camera, and how good it is at high ISO. This leaves Aperture, and this is where choice of lens comes into it. The obvious choice for widefield shots is a wideangle, fast f2.8 lens, but these come at a price. So I would suggest, you go for Aperture rather than focal length to begin with to keep costs down. There is no getting away from it, you need that light. Stars are a long way away.
    Stacking, as Pete touched on, is also a big help, and the program he linked to is a good one, but have a read up on Dark Frames, Bias Frames, Flat Frames before you dive in, or you maybe disappointed with the stacked results. If you are going down the stacking route, turn off your high ISO noise reduction, and Long Exposure Noise Reduction in your menu. You can do that in PP.
     
    Glen White likes this.
  11. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

Share This Page